Thursday, January 22, 2015

Last Year's Music, This Year's Plans

Last year was kind of tumultuous for me. I took it all in stride though, with my usual cool, calm, and collected demeanour intact. Lotsa bad shit happened, but I still managed to put out some music. 

First came Bad Luck, a broken-hearted yet spirited little comp with a couple new tunes and a some older ones, all done just with my voice, electric guitar, and drum machine - no synths no organs, no bass guitar, no effects except dirt boxes, no real drums. It was the rawest, most expedient way I could document how I felt about things at the time.

Then Max and I recorded a set of 5 trailer-park gothic songs concerning the murder of a Sheriff's daughter and the supernatural justice wrought upon the miscreant perpertator, set in a fictional South Carolina town and put it out on Halloween. Max played drums, percussion, mandolin, guitar, bass, and I did the vocals, and played a pair of archtop acoustic guitars and layered a few tracks of additional noise and feedback with my Jazzmaster and Max's Tele. Here's what that project sounds like:

I did a few shows last year, but the most enjoyable one was at Drone Fest in Clemson. It was a hot mess of a performance, but fun, mostly because I got to tell bad jokes to college students between howling blasts of fuzz and feedback noise.

Then there was Sumpatheia, an exercise in layered feedback recorded at volumes intended to produce permanent hearing damage to any innocent bystander unfortunate enough to be in proximity to my house at the time (I wore earplugs throughout). This droning noise juggernaut features six tracks of electric guitar feedback courtesy of a Jazzmaster tuned EG#EEG#G#, two amplifiers, five loudspeakers, one condenser microphone and an array of distortion pedals.

The remainder of the music from 2014 I "released" consists of previously recorded material that either hadn't been put out in any form or stuff I merely repackaged. I uploaded to my store this collection of old songs that didn't fit anywhere else:

Also from the vaults are these three recordings Lily and I did with the infamous Kris Hyatt: three little uncut garage rock gems that I packed up with a nice construction paper cut-out for a cover.

And finally, three rock and roll songs Max and I recorded  at Black Sneaker Souls but hadn't officially released:

This year, of course I have big plans. Not the kind of big plans I normally make at the start of a new year, but big nonetheless. All self-mocking sarcasm aside, I'm finally, actually getting treatment for my mental health. I've been a mess of a person, a bad friend, a bad husband, a failure, full of self-loathing and self-pity for so long I don't know what to do with myself. Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve the gift of existence. So my therapist is a god-send.

This year my plans are simple: get my head screwed on straight, continue going to school, the emergence of my new band with Max Price and Raleigh Knights, love my children as fully as I am able, and to get divorced.

And maybe, if I get a minute, I'll write a few new tunes about it all. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Drone Fest at Murder Planet

This is a recording of a show I did in Clemson recently. Don't listen to it. It's too rad. But at around 14:00 I let some other dudes play my guitar, so it gets even more rad. I controlled the amp's eq-tion* though.

*An inside joke between one of my best ever friends, whom I horribly mistreated and probably doesn't read my blog, and myself. 'Sup dude!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Don't Practice Yr Guitar

Whatever you do, don't practice your guitar.

Don't learn scales or arpeggios. Don't learn chords.

Instead, hammer it with all of your experience. Pour your blood into it. Pour your sweat and tears into it. Play every lick as if you're about to go to the gallows. As if it's the last riff you'll ever play.

Turn your amp all the way up. Turn the treble, midrange, and bass all the way up. Bask in the resonance as the feedback makes all of your windows and the corners of the room vibrate uncontrollably.

Throw your guitar at the amp. Step on it. Hump it.

But whatever you do, don't practice it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I'm a Goldmine of Neuroses

I haven’t been blogging much lately, mostly due to scheduling. You see, I just started back to school this fall, and with my many obligations ahead of that, hanging out here just isn’t usually an option. 
In other news, I’m finally going to get some help for my many mental health issues. I avoided it for years, feeling as though it was an admission of defeat. I also strangely valued my depression and anxiety. It’s what I’m used to, so it’s comfortable in the most toxic way. And I’ve considered my internal dissonances as good fuel for artistic output.
But flailing about in an unforgiving sea without so much a piece of driftwood has gotten me nowhere as an artist. And more importantly, it undermines my relationships, makes it hard for me to start them and pursue them, develop them, take care of them. I don’t know how to really use those feelings for anything productive, because when they come on, I’m immobilized. I can’t produce a thing. I walk the floors wringing my hands, worrying about things I can’t control or I watch television mindlessly or I smoke too many cigarettes or all of the above.
I feel normal more than half the time, but I have no clue how to keep from feeling bad. I have several triggers against which I have no cognitive safeguard. Often I feel crippled by emotions, thoughts, regrets, worries.
I’m tired of it. I hope that by getting some help I can improve and get more out of life and feel like my true self more of the time.
Usually I don’t like talking about my internal problems like this with anyone, in person or online, but occassionally I do and it helps. I can’t wait to start therapy. A therapist ought to enjoy working with me; I’m a goldmine of neuroses.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Turn back,
Go back to your mountain.
Leave this world now -
you are not welcome here.

Leave now with your sword
   and your shield
   and your rocket propelled grenade
   and your tank
   and your rubber bullet
   and your tear gas.
Leave now and never return.

This world will have no more of you,
   you who run rough-shod over our cities
   and our countrysides,
you who extinguish our friends
   and our neighbors,
   our elderly
   and our children.
This world is not your playground;
our lives no mere sandcastles for you to kick over.

Leave now,
   and take with you our presidents
   and our prime ministers
   and our other false leaders.
Get out of here.
Go back to your cloudy peak.
We don't want you here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Stop Tryin' to Tell Me How to Internet!

People love sharing their views on facebook, tumblr and other social networking sites. People love blogging. People love posting pictures of their kids and their meals. People love doing selfies.

Other folks love criticizing them for any and all of these activities. They love to call out others for their "vanity" or "narcissism" because they like to put a bit of their personalities on the internet.

Well, guess what? Just about everybody's at least a little bit vain. If you're not in the least bit concerned with your physical appearance, your manner of dress, hygiene and so on, then you're probably either a monk of some sort or a type of socially maladapted person that no one wants to be around or follow on twitter. Either way, you surely smell really bad.

If not, shut the fuck up. There. I did it. I told you how to internet.

Because if you don't like my crooked teeth or my big nose or my ultra-leftism or my songs showing up in yer newsfeed, then don't look at them. Unfollow. You, yourself, are also a vain person, a little narcissist. Because you look nice. You brush your teeth. You have mirrors in your home. And you smell good.

The way we present ourselves to the world via our physical appearance - our style - is an opportunity for self-expression. Dressing well can be empowering. I know a few people who have developed incredible senses of style since I've known them. It's always fascinating to see what they're going to do next. It's a window into a person's mind. What could be more interesting than that?

Cypress Suite - Pts. I, II

I. Alone in Bed

I lay alone in bed one frosty night
And sleep refused to come; my thoughts were filled
With questions and such fascinating sights -
I saw a girl thrown from a car and killed
Become a bird and fly over the hills
And wondered where her disembodied soul
Had fled now that her corpse lay cold and still.
Is there a heaven as I have been told
Where angels sing with super-human skill?

The room was scarcely lit and icy blue
But my pupils had adjusted to the dark
And took in shifting shapes that without hue
Showed silhouetted outlines clearly marked.
Plastic sacks of dripping fluids, clinical and stark
Appeared where my stuffed animals had been
And machine-like breathing I remarked
Which seemed to originate from within;
My room had transformed into a NICU ward.

Then I noticed an inch-wide tube my throat
Accommodated; it inflated my chest
Like a balloon. A petroleum jelly coat
Was on my lips and I was only dressed
In a gown of lightweight cotton I confess.
But then I heard a lupine howl that called
Me from afar to end my rest.
And from my still position I rose tall
And saw my supine form receive its final blessing.

II. The Dead Forest

I slid the door of double-strength, clear glass
To quit those sterile quarters, and padded down
The cold tile hall whose other rooms I passed.
Then I stopped to take a look around
And found the scene had changed again without a sound.
I stood within an avenue whose trees
Had shed their leaves upon the snowy ground.
Old rusty cars and other junk were seized
By winter freeze and still as a ghost town.

Just then the wolf's cry called to me once more
And I perceived a blood trail in the snow.
I followed those red drops of fresh-shed gore
Down the avenue through the lonely hollow
Where ghosts appeared and time was slowed.
Cypress trees, green and majestic formed
A wall at this crossroads and proudly rose
From the dead earth. A monstrous hound
Blocked entry from the Cypress Grove below.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Won't Die

*** Sharing this again since I recorded a quicky demo of it this after. It's a first take, so don't ask me where the missing fourth verse is! ***

I could be killed out on the road tonight
or end my life in a drunken fist fight
or be gored in the running of the bulls
or even torn apart by rav’nous wolves.
But none of that will ever mean a thing
if I can’t learn to love you once again.
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to live –
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to love.

I could meet death blasted by a grenade
or I could swallow poisoned lemonade
or be bisected by an anxious train
or crushed beneath the weight of heartbreak pain.
But what would be the use in such a death
without your lips to draw my final breath?
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to live –
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to love.

I could fall victim to a police truncheon
or suffer a stroke at some genteel luncheon
or be permafrosted on subarctic tundra
or silverbacks could tear my limbs asunder.
But all my blood and sweat will just be wasted
if the lips I’ve long for I’ve not once more tasted.
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to live –
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to love.

I could be stewed by hungry cannibals
or struck upon Achille’s heel so fallible
or be dashed on the rocks while river rafting
or have a scissor accident while crafting
I’d gladly suffer any sort of harm
for one last moment with you in my arms.
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to live –
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to love.

I could be tasted by a great white shark
or robbed and cudgeled in a darkened park
or pulverized by a jilted jackhammer
or crucified for errors in my grammar.
Though none of these would ever aggrieve me
I’d be bereaved if you would not receive me.
But I won’t die before I’ve learned to live –
No I won’t die before I’ve learned to love.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Called "Giving A Shit About Our Neighbors"

I'm half Hispanic and half white. White looking. Raised a taco eater. A beaner. But also surrounded by rednecks.

My skin's white. I've never had to face any situation in which my pigmentation led to any sort of negative outcome. I can't recall even a single one. To look at me, you wouldn't know that my soul is brown at all. It's a privilege. 

I'm sick to the guts of the term "white guilt." It's just another racist term to belittle any person not of color who displays even the slightest sympathy for his or her darker-skinned neighbors. If some white folks believe that police ought not to shoot dead a young, unarmed black man, or that the life of a black person is just as valuable as that of anybody else, or that white folks should support our black brothers and sisters in their struggle against institutionalized racism, it's not guilt. It's called a CONSCIENCE. It's called giving a shit about our neighbors. 

Black people make up only about 13% of the U.S. population, but about 40% of the prison population is black. Poverty and crime go hand in hand, regardless of race. But the obvious correlation between crushing poverty and high crime rates and the rise of private, for-profit prisons which stack more cheddar when their "beds are full" are hardly mentioned in mainstream press. Nobody talks about what a herculean task it is to get out of a neighborhood that presents zero opportunity. Black people are deliberately held back from the opportunities supposedly available to us all in this country. White folks whine about affirmative action, make up bullshit catch-phrases like "reverse racism" when black people make a small step towards improving their overall situation. 

"All men are created equal" was just a load of bullshit from the "founding fathers," who are venerated and treated as infallible, depicted in the manner of Greek gods in marble statuary all over the nation's capitol. Was the Slave equal? The Indian? Women?

I believe in the truth of the above quotation from the Declaration of Independence, but also the fact that George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's and the rest's actions demonstrate their fundamental mockery of the principle. The Constitution bears this out as well, with its history of amendments won through hard work and struggle for oppressed groups to gain some semblance of equality. The document was in no way written to create equality for all. The language used definitely stirs the emotions though. 

Police shoot dead four unarmed black men within a period of four weeks. The understatement of the year could be "black folks are pissed." The anger is justified. Racism and police brutality and white supremacy are still very much a part of everyday life for Black America. Trying to paint Michael Brown or any other victim of police brutality as something less than wholesome does nothing to justify his murder or to calm the anger, to soothe the pain. White folks should be pissed too. How can we stand by and watch these power-tripping knuckle-draggers abuse our neighbors down to their very souls? Do we feel nothing? Are we even human?

White folks are not scared of the police. Fuck that. The minute someone stands up to the police for their crimes, law enforcement's deep, unrestrained savagery will become apparent. How many unarmed white men or women need to be shot or beaten to death or tazed or face daily harassment or be incarcerated for white folks to wake the fuck up?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


For now I'll steer clear of beer.
Fruit of the vine, I'll make you mine;
your sinewy tendrils
I let wrap my mind -
my insides become your trellis.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's OK to Grieve for Robin Williams

People are sad about Robin Williams' death. I too am sad about Robin Williams.

A friend of mine posted on facebook something to the effect that it's not OK to be sad for a dead entertainer, but you really ought to be be doing something about a lot of the other misery that goes on in the world and be sad for other, bigger, more valid reasons. I'll quote him.

I feel terrible for the family and friends of Robin Williams, as losing loved ones to suicide is awful .(I've experienced it. ) There are however, 18,000 kids who die of hunger each and every day. They may not have lived to be multi-millionaire entertainers, but they had big dreams and big hearts too. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself over someone you never met, try and make the world a better place while you're alive by donating to causes that make a difference. Trade the energy you put into grieving for one entertainer and think of our men and women in uniform. And lastly, there are thousands of animals that need your help all over the globe. Perspective, perspective, perspective.

He makes a valid point. Putting effort into making "the world a better place" is a good thing. But why should we invalidate what we feel about this person we "never met?" This person we watched for countless hours, who made us laugh, who suffered just like all of us, who lived with the real pain of mental illness just like countless others but managed to use his suffering to make others laugh, to forget for a minute how wretched existence can be. I do not agree that we should put much into grieving for our military - all volunteers - who in this age of easily procured information rain death and destruction around the globe at the behest of a government beholden to Global Capitalism. I definitely feel for them, especially the impoverished ones with little other recourse to financial survival, but while we're at it, we should grieve for their victims as well, who outnumber American casualties exponentially.

Robin Williams' life and death didn't change history, and it pales in comparison to the numbers of people dying of hunger or under the heel of the U.S. military daily, or the decades-long wholesale slaughter of Palestinians by U.S.-armed Israel, or the innumerable women who are victims of domestic violence, whose death rate since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom has far outpaced the number of dead military personel in our Middle Eastern resource wars, or the mounting numbers of young black men and women routinely murdered by our police officers or disproportionately incarcerated, or the escalating threat of Anthropogenic Global Warming, or mass extinctions. But his chosen profession was all about bringing laughter to others. He brought joy to millions of us. He helped us all to suffer a little less. It's O.K. to grieve for Robin Williams' death. We need people like him to help us laugh through the tears. There's already enough sorrow in this world; a world without Robin Williams in it is a world that is worse than it was before.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fuck the Night

Hit the freeway at 8 pm,
a dirty needle in the arm of the night.

Drive four hours;
sleep in the car.
Drive some more.

Leave heartbreak in the rearview;
leave pain in a wake of dust.
Pierce the reclining indigo;
penetrate the gloom;

Drive to forget the one who hurt you.
Drive to forget the one you hurt.
Drive to forget who doesn't love you.
Drive to forget the one you love.

Morning is too distant,
leave this very instant.

Sunset is pregnant
 with possibility,
 with electricity,
 with mystery.

Hit the road at whatever hour,
a fresh needle in the arm of the night.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I Make No Apologies for Labeling Myself "Socialist"

I make no apologies for labeling myself "socialist."

I adhere to the fundamental belief of the left that all people are created equally, as opposed to the far right view that contradicts this. As far as I'm concerned, every child born on this planet has an equal claim to basic human rights - food, water, shelter, clothing, companionship, leisure, enjoyment, and so on and so forth.

But the system we live under isn't a system of government. "Conventional wisdom" tells us that here in the United States we live in a democracy - that we, the people have a say in our own destinies. To an extent, this is true. A prosperous country like this one affords many opportunities to its citizens that a less free nation does not. But make no mistake, the system we live under is Global Capitalism, and it's easily shown that this system does not work for the majority of humans.

Global Capitalism turns the world's gears, with cooperative governments greasing the axles. This is plain to see from the macro to micro-economic levels, from the revolving door between the SEC and Wall Street lawyers to glad-handing council members cheerily approving exclusionary development projects while cutting education funds.

Our government is referred to as a "representative democracy." We regularly hit the voting booth to choose other folks to make all the big decisions for us. When you look at presidential and congressional approval ratings, it's pretty clear that the will of the people is of little concern to those in power. When you look at the polls it's clear that our government is far from achieving the "consent of the governed," one of the principles found in the U.S. Declaration of Independence that is all but forgotten. In practice, it's a far cry from actual democracy.

"But socialism doesn't work."

You may point to the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China to illustrate. The histories of those two countries and their systems of government bear little resemblence to true socialism, or even communism, for that matter. Real socialism is a system that has never really been tried on a large scale. It's based on common ownership of the means of production rather than private, for-profit ownership. It doesn't have to mean more government, or state ownership of factories and farms. It could, in practice, through any number of well-conceived institutions, mean exactly the opposite.

Global Capitalism is demonstrably responsible for environmental degradation, unending war, governmental corruption, the vicious cycle of inequality, and a host of other destructive practices that just might plague us to extinction. Governments are expected to fall in line, to follow orders, and pass legislation that supports the system. Those that refuse, e.g. Venezuela, end up on the wrong end of the club, as Chomsky might say.

I stand with those who would like to try something different. 

Sadness Comes Like a Garbage Truck

Sadness comes like a garbage truck -
sour, unpleasant,
predictable, necessary.

But in advance there is choice.
Leave it all in the can?
Let it fester another week,
let it sit there, unattended?
Refuse to feel it,
to experience it fully?
Or haul it out to the street -
face the stink,
let the gloom take you for a moment?

Drag it to the curb.
Get it out; get rid of it
and then it's gone.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sing To Me Extremes

Don't sing to me limp feelings;
sing to me extremes.
Sing to me hammers and stones;
sing anvils and boulders!
Or, if you must sing softness,
sing perfume and specific flowers
sing wispy neck hairs and lingerie;
sing sweaty dances and sweaty sheets
or sing not at all.

Song doesn't beg for middle ground!
You say you'd "kill for her smile,"
but there's nothing of the wolf
or the hawk
or the bombardier
or the powerline about you.
Give me a knife's edge
or give me nothing at all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Keep a Smile on Your Face

*** I wrote a showtune***

Your parents didn't like you
   and your siblings beat you up.
Your shih tzu chewed your new shoes
   and on your blue suit she threw up.
Keep a smile on your face!
Your boss gave you the pink slip
   and the bills are all past due.
Your favorite slacks got crotch-ripped
   and your kid's hair's full of glue.
Keep a smile on your face!

Your date just stood you up
   and your BFF ignores your texts.
Your body says "enough!"
   and that heart transplant it rejects.
Keep a smile on your face!
Your car just blew a gasket
   and your internet is suspended.
Don't start shopping for caskets,
   everything is splendid!
Keep a smile on your face.

You see no escape,
but don't flake; don't make
that mistake, problems can't be shunned.
Now you're in a rut,
but don't cut and run
there's still to be had some fun.

Your suffering has doubled,
   now you've taken to your bed.
Your home's reduced to rubble
   and your loved ones are all dead.
Keep a smile on your face!
The stars have all conspired
   to make your life a hell.
Your feet are always mired
   at the bottom of a well.
Keep a smile on your face!


He stood motionless in the living room,
            arms rigidly forty-fived towards the floor,
                           looking like nothing so much as an arrow,
convinced that this attitude was the one that would keep the structure standing.
            First the furniture disappeared, then the pictures.
                     The windows and the doors dematerialized then,
                   the roof and walls evaporated,
      and he just stood there, motionless,
not realizing until it was all gone
        that his home had left him.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A New Catch

A couple weeks ago I took a spontaneous road trip to Asheville, wrote a blog post about it, but left off just as the night was beginning. This tune picks up where that post left off and tells the true tale of what happened that night.

I finished my drinks and leaned into the dusk.
The failing sun tried hard to crush 
my mood but failed.
I slouched down Broadway; I hadn’t a plan
I could barely stand so I started to dance
Oh whoa! Where will I go?
I stumbled through a door, locked eyes with a girl
olive skin, green eyes framed in dark curls.
My, my! How my head swirled.
The room was crowded and the lights were dim.
Her smile reached out and took the strength from my limbs.
Oh no! I won’t think of you.
Because I’m feeling like this night belongs to me.
Anything can happen ‘cause I feel so free!
Yes, I’m feeling like this night belongs to me, yeah yeah.
Oh whoa! Where will I go?

Her car was in the alley, a little black hatchback.
We steamed the windows, “Stray Slack” for a soundtrack.
Dear Lord, I’m in love.
She said “there’s a party at the Econo Lodge!”
I replied “that’s strange, but who am I to judge?
Oh whoa! Baby, let’s go!”
She started the car, threw it into reverse,
it sputtered and she muttered my favorite curse,
but we were on our way.
We pulled into the lot at a quarter of 12,
delved into the motel it sweltered like hell.
Oh no! You’re not on my mind.
Because I’m feeling like this night belongs to me.
Anything can happen ‘cause I feel so free!
Yes, I’m feeling like this night belongs to me, yeah yeah.
Oh whoa! Where will I go?

Never had I seen so much PVC, so many
whips and chains and strange looks directed at me.
“I’m not sure about this,” I thought.
She handed me a drink. I took it in one draught.
She paused for a second, then hurled the wickedest laugh
I’d ever seen or heard.
Then all of a sudden, all eyes were on me, 
my head started spinning, I wanted to flee
but I was too dizzy.
The next thing I knew I was being led on a chain.
I was light as a dewclaw, I was feeling no pain.
Oh whoa! Now I’m missing you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Self-Help Poem

You don't need to be superhuman
or look like Paul Newman
to live exactly the life you want to live.
Of course I'm assuming
that your mind is now blooming
and your heart sings in multiple octaves.

You don't need an excess of cash,
but even a thimble full of dash
will produce more satisfactory results.
You'll make a sure splash
with a just a pinch of panache
then "Ahhhhhh!" as you ultimately exult.

Poem Scratched on a Napkin

I'm out of beer;
I'm out of cigarettes,
but chock full of regrets -
things I'd like to forget.
My nerves ain't frayed enough though,
so I need more bad stuff
to rough me up,
to toughen me up
so my off-the-cuff is gruff, not fluff,
and that's no bluff.

New Poetry Series

When I write, it’s because I’m really passionate about something. Probably I’m more passionate about not giving a shit than anything else.  I'll write a series of "I Don't Give a Shit About __________"s. 'Cause there's lots of shit I don't give a shit about.

1. Crime
2. American football
3. Yer band's influences
4. Age-defying facial creams
5. Cars
6. Comic books
7. Littering
8. Beards
9. TV commercials
10. Bacteria

Serious Mood

I'm in a serious mood.
Now, I'm not a serious dude,
but yr mind comes unglued,
yr attitude gets rude
when yr balls're blued
and so you spew crude shit
when you've stewed on all
that you've accrued through
yr day to day vicissitudes.
You exude renewed feuds on cue,
ex-specially the shrewdly planned.
I need help.
I need a doctor.
Somebody call Sigmund Frood.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Tiny Ropes" (Verse)

My problems are shrinking because I'm better than them.
          I'm stronger than my sadness
          and my anger
          and my insecurity
   and my anxiety
          and body image issues
          and malingering
          and abrasiveness
          and volatility
   and overall Hamletishness.
I'm better than my social position
          and my lack of connections
          and brand recognition
          and the inadequacy of my income
and my bad decisions
          and my broken relationships  
          and proclivities
          and poor treatment of those I care for
          and the quality of my work so far
   and my habits of self-defeat.

They shrink as I grow,
   reduced to Lilliputians,
   their tiny ropes can't hold me.
And unlike the failed physician
   I do not befriend my captors
   but instead wreak havoc upon their land
   I crush them and burn the remains,
   raze their capital
   and consume their crops.

Carl Sandburg - "To a Contemporary Bunkshooter"

You come along. . . tearing your shirt. . . yelling about
     Where do you get that stuff?
     What do you know about Jesus?
Jesus had a way of talking soft and outside of a few
     bankers and higher-ups among the con men of Jerusalem
     everybody liked to have this Jesus around because
     he never made any fake passes and everything
     he said went and he helped the sick and gave the
     people hope.
You come along squirting words at us, shaking your fist
     and calling us all damn fools so fierce the froth slobbers
     over your lips. . . always blabbing we're all
     going to hell straight off and you know all about it.
I've read Jesus' words. I know what he said. You don't
     throw any scare into me. I've got your number. I
     know how much you know about Jesus.
He never came near clean people or dirty people but
     they felt cleaner because he came along. It was your
     crowd of bankers and business men and lawyers
     hired the sluggers and murderers who put Jesus out
     of the running.
I say the same bunch backing you nailed the nails into
     the hands of this Jesus of Nazareth. He had lined
     up against him the same crooks and strong-arm men
     now lined up with you paying your way.
This Jesus was good to look at, smelled good, listened
     good. He threw out something fresh and beautiful
     from the skin of his body and the touch of his hands
     wherever he passed along.
You slimy bunkshooter, you put a smut on every human
     blossom in reach of your rotten breath belching
     about hell-fire and hiccupping about this Man who
     lived a clean life in Galilee.
When are you going to quit making the carpenters build
     emergency hospitals for women and girls driven
     crazy with wrecked nerves from your gibberish about
     Jesus--I put it to you again: Where do you get that
     stuff; what do you know about Jesus?
Go ahead and bust all the chairs you want to. Smash
     a whole wagon load of furniture at every performance.
     Turn sixty somersaults and stand on your
     nutty head. If it wasn't for the way you scare the
     women and kids I'd feel sorry for you and pass the hat.
I like to watch a good four-flusher work, but not when
     he starts people puking and calling for the doctors.
I like a man that's got nerve and can pull off a great
     original performance, but you--you're only a bug-
     house peddler of second-hand gospel--you're only
     shoving out a phoney imitation of the goods this
     Jesus wanted free as air and sunlight.
You tell people living in shanties Jesus is going to fix it
     up all right with them by giving them mansions in
     the skies after they're dead and the worms have
     eaten 'em.
You tell $6 a week department store girls all they need
     is Jesus; you take a steel trust wop, dead without
     having lived, gray and shrunken at forty years of
     age, and you tell him to look at Jesus on the cross
     and he'll be all right.
You tell poor people they don't need any more money
     on pay day and even if it's fierce to be out of a job,
     Jesus'll fix that up all right, all right--all they gotta
     do is take Jesus the way you say.
I'm telling you Jesus wouldn't stand for the stuff you're
     handing out. Jesus played it different. The bankers
     and lawyers of Jerusalem got their sluggers and
     murderers to go after Jesus just because Jesus
     wouldn't play their game. He didn't sit in with
     the big thieves.
I don't want a lot of gab from a bunkshooter in my religion.
I won't take my religion from any man who never works
     except with his mouth and never cherishes any memory
     except the face of the woman on the American
     silver dollar.
I ask you to come through and show me where you're
     pouring out the blood of your life.
I've been to this suburb of Jerusalem they call Golgotha,
     where they nailed Him, and I know if the story is
     straight it was real blood ran from His hands and
     the nail-holes, and it was real blood spurted in red
     drops where the spear of the Roman soldier rammed
     in between the ribs of this Jesus of Nazareth.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"I Don't Give A Shit About Music" (Verse)

I don't give a shit
about John Lennon
or Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix
or Stevie Ray Vaughan
or Led Zeppelin.
I don't give a shit about Classic Rock.

I don't give a shit
about Kurt Cobain
or Eddie Vedder or Billy Corgan
or Chris Cornell
or Temple of the fucking Dawg.
I don't give a shit about Grunge.

I don't give a shit
about Miley Cyrus
or Kanye or Arcade Fire
or Beyonce
or the fucking accent mark over her second "e."
I don't give a shit about Top 40.

I don't give a shit
about Rush
or ELP or ELO
or Dream Theatre
or Radiohead.
I couldn't give two shits for Prog.

I don't give a shit
about Beethoven
or Woody Guthrie or Stravinski
or Gregorian Chant or gamelan
or the Twelve Tone Method.
I don't give a shit about Music.